"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

News from Robert - 4/15

Dear Parents,

Over the next several weeks, I will be highlighting a series of initiatives. These initiatives will carry into the coming school year and beyond, as important aspects of our educational practice. This week I will highlight Kindergarten Literacy Screening.

At TIS we focus on building the target language intensively in prek, lowk and k, and we formally introduce English classes in grade 1. During grade 1, students work extensively on literacy skills both in English and in their target language.

To help teachers prepare for this literacy focus, we want to understand the literacy readiness of each of our incoming grade 1 students. To gain this understanding, we will be screening each student in our current kindergarten prior to the close of this school year.

We believe that this screening is an important step. Research shows that certain early literacy skills (also known as “foundational skills”) are basic building blocks that every child must master to become a proficient reader. Evidence also shows that these skills can be improved with instruction. Assessing student performance on these skills toward the end of kindergarten can tell us up front which children are likely to need more help to become successful readers.

This initiative will have multiple benefits. The data collected will inform individual parents about the literacy readiness of their child, it will assist the TIS teachers in tailoring their instruction for individual students, and over time, TIS will be able to develop readiness norms based on the data collected.

To organize and administer this first screening, we will be using the services of an outside specialist, Barbara Steinberg from PDX Reading Specialist LLC. The screening will take place during regular school hours in the month of May.

Kindergarten parents are invited to meet with Barbara Steinberg and me for a more in depth presentation about the screening: Wednesday morning, April 24th at 8:00 AM in the Art Room in Stearns Hall. Please RSVP to AngelaT@Intlschool.org if you can attend.

This initiative will become a part of TIS regular practice in the future.

Robert Woods, Head of School, RobertW@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x122